Without a doubt, football megastar Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most profitable and marketable stars out there.
He is, after all, a legit billionaire now, thanks to his off-the-pitch earnings:
So, it's no surprise that some of the world's biggest brands are lining up to have him become the face of their brands (Nike reportedly inked him to a USD1 billion [RM4.29 billion] lifetime contract).
When popular e-commerce site Shopee managed to get the 35-year-old to come on board as their brand ambassador, it sent shockwaves all through social media because HOLYSH@$HOWDIDTHEYGETCRISTIANORONALDO?!
However, it seems that the Ronaldo and Shopee dream partnership is coming to an end sooner than expected.
No more Cristiano?
On Tuesday (30 June), affiliate marketing website Involve Asia sent out an announcement notice with the title 'Cease of Mr. Christiano Ronaldo as Shopee Ambassador
', claiming that the Singaporean-based e-commerce platform is terminating the ambassador contract the brand signed with the Juventus player.
According to the notice, all Shopee marketing materials, banners and publications with the image of Ronaldo "must be removed from your digital property before 5th July 2020, before the contract officially ends".
We have no idea when Ronaldo's contract officially ends, but it was in August 2019 that Shopee announced their partnership
with the former Real Madrid and Manchester United player.
Ronaldo appeared in a TV commercial to promote Shopee's 9.9 Super Shopping Day, which, if you recall, featured him dancing to the tune of the annoyingly-infectious "Baby Shark".
According to Shopee, the partnership with Ronaldo has been a great success, as the video itself recorded a total of 35 million online views in the region.
In fact, thanks to Ronaldo's star power, the e-commerce site sold 80 million items during their Shopee 12.12 Birthday Sale.
With such successes, it wouldn't make sense for Shopee to terminate the ambassador contract they have with the man who helped them capture the attention of online shoppers all around the region, right?
So, was his contract really 'terminated'?
When we got in touch with Shopee, a spokesperson for the brand told Rojak Daily
that the media advisory sent out by Involve Asia and published by a local online media portal about the termination contained a "factual error".
The spokesperson said that Shopee did not terminate the contract they had with Ronaldo: the contract they signed back in 2019 simply expired.
“Shopee’s partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo will come to a close in July 2020, as part of our agreement in 2019. The collaboration has been a success and we are happy to have co-created exciting initiatives and shopping campaigns for fans and users in the region.
"In line with our agreement and common industry practices, Shopee will cease the use of all promotional and marketing assets featuring Cristiano Ronaldo,” the Shopee spokesperson said in response to our question.
So, there you go. Mystery solved!